How to Try Bold Maximalist Decor at Home, According to an Artist

Artist and entrepreneur Dana Gibson shares her tips for styling bold patterns in any room and drops the details on her new collection with Mark & Graham.

Dana Gibson knows a thing or two about daring designs. From the launch of her first hand-sculpted porcelain line in the '90s to her iconic leopard print motif, her art has pushed the boundaries of home decor for decades. Her recent collection with home and gift company Mark & Graham (part of Williams Sonoma) showcases her love of color, nature, and playful patterns, featuring items like monogrammed trays and bamboo ginger jars. (The products are available for purchase as of June 21.)

Dana Gibson x Mark & Graham ginger jars with bold blue and bamboo patterns
Courtesy of Mark & Graham

While statement pieces add unique flair to any space, it can be challenging to know how to style them. For those who usually shy away from bold decor, Gibson has a few tips and tricks to help you step out of your comfort zone while not going too over the top.

Using pattern when decorating not only gives a room added visual interest, but it also makes it feel more personalized. And you can draw inspiration from anywhere: For example, if you're into the '70s and all things retro, play that up with checkerboard decor or midcentury modern artwork.

"Patterns are everywhere in nature, so it makes sense to use a variety of patterns in your house with decor," Gibson says. "I like mixing simple or primitive prints with more sophisticated, refined patterns. This fusion makes a room interesting."

Dana Gibson x Mark & Graham decorative trays with bamboo and monogram design
Courtesy of Mark & Graham

How to Style with Statements

When designing a room, Gibson starts with a statement print or pattern and builds off of it with smaller prints or solids. Try her method at home by adding an eye-catching wallpaper or bold piece of art to your room first, then layering in simpler patterns that complement your loudest piece. It's important to have a few items that let the eye rest, too, like a solid-colored sofa or minimalist pillows.

For larger rooms, pay attention to the scale of the boldest pattern compared with other elements. You want to create a single focal point that draws the eye and allows it to easily move through the space without disruption. All the decor should tie into your biggest statement piece, whether that's a related color scheme or motif that fits in seamlessly.

"Choosing patterns and prints for your decor isn't supposed to be stressful," Gibson says. "Think of it as a game or even a puzzle where the stakes aren't too high. Purchase items that speak to you and see how they look side by side. You'll know if it works. In the end, creating your house and space is supposed to be fun."

Most of the patterns in the Dana Gibson x Mark & Graham collection take inspiration from the natural world, keeping up with the biophilic design trends of this year. Pieces feature palms, bamboo, and flora in sky blues and neutral tones. The bamboo oval trays in white and navy are Gibson's favorite items; they can be used not only to serve drinks and small plates, but also as a home for everyday items like remotes and keys. She recommends styling trays in both colors as an accent on a large ottoman or placing a vase on top for a "splash of nature." Products range from $30 to $309.

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